I’m writing this in Crete, drinking a toast to you the reader from a taverna on the shores of the Libyan sea. We’re in Agia Gallini, where ‘One of Our Ministers is Missing’ is partially set. Indeed, one of my pleasant tasks on this trip is to present a copy of the book to Vicky, the Brit from Reading, who runs the Madame Hortense restaurant here. I was in Agia Gallini writing the book two years ago and promised to bring her a finished copy. I was only just in time to keep the promise because Vicky and her Cretan husband, the chef at Hortense, who she met out here thirty years ago, are retiring in October. They’ll stay in the area but the Madame Hortense will be under new ownership.
I feel I deserve this holiday after a summer mainly spent finishing the next book in the Mangan series. ‘Death on the Thames’ which will be published on March 28th next year.
Work on this has been interspersed with book reviews (my review of Isobel Hardman’s splendid book on the NHS, ‘Fighting For Life’ for the Observer is elsewhere on this site, my review of Rory Stewart’s ‘Politics on the Edge’ for The Guardian will be published on September 23rd and I’m working on my review of David Kynaston’s latest brilliant chunk of contemporary British history, ‘A Northern Wind’ for the New Statesman right now).
So, an industrious summer and a busy autumn with three events at the Cheltenham Literary Festival next month.
Steph’s Packed Lunch is back on Ch4 after it’s summer break and I’m looking forward to rejoining the gang on Friday (Sept. 15th) and thereafter practically every Tuesday and Friday until Christmas. But let’s catch the last rays of summer warmth before we think of Christmas.